St. Augustine quotes

| June 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

As a Buddhist born in North America I can’t help but have some Judeo-Christian influence in my psychological make-up. I’ve learned to integrate the best of my upbringing with Buddhism
rather than have an East-West philosophical battle constantly raging in my psyche. I’ve come to realize the most religions have a lot in common with one another and I now tend to focus on the the similarities — surrender, compassion, love and kindness (often called “charity” in Christian writing), wisdom — rather than differences…

St. Augustine is someone who many of us can relate to. In his youth he was, well… a “partier”, to put it in modern terms (he writes about it in The Confessions.) He liked a good brew — hence he is the patron-saint of brewers — and good entertainment. In those early years he would pray “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.” He got his wish and did eventually become chaste and continent through, some say, divine intervention. Read about his conversion here.

st augustine quotes

St. Augustine – painting by Antonio Rodríguez

Here are a few quotes — with a little added commentary from myself — from St. Augustine’s works that can aid us in letting go and moving on.

“Bad times, hard times, this is what people keep saying; but let us live well, and times shall be good. We are the times: Such as we are, such are the times.”

No matter how difficult the changes we are going through whether moving on from a relationship or moving on from even this life what matters most is our reaction and attitude to those changes rather than the outer changes themselves. Live well and the times are made good as well.

“Love, and do what thou wilt: whether thou hold thy peace, through love hold thy peace; whether thou cry out, through love cry out; whether thou correct, through love correct; whether thou spare, through love do thou spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.”

And following with the theme of the previous quote: living well is, in essence, loving! So if you want to make hard times become good times love to the best of your ability. If you are suffering so much you feel you cannot love at least avoid hate. Another quote from St. Augustine reinforces this: “Charity (love and kindness) is the root of all good works.”

“So material a difference does it make, not what ills are suffered, but what kind of man suffers them. For, stirred up with the same movement, mud exhales a horrible stench, and ointment emits a fragrant odor.”

It’s all about how you deal with misfortune. If your habits are to complain and blame and see the dark side then when bad things happen your misfortune will be doubled! One the other had if you can see the best and give the benefit of the doubt then the burden of pain will be lessened and the lessons will be learned all the more swiftly.

“I am because I err.”

Yes, even saints err. If saints make mistakes so much more do we! To me this speaks of compassion for ourselves and by extension to other who may harm us or disagree with us. And, as well: “Love the sinner and hate the sin.” We ALL make mistakes. Just as you want to be liked, loved, and cared for even though you “sin” so does everyone else.

“Beauty grows in you to the extent that love grows, because charity itself is the soul’s beauty.”

Finally, love itself is a process. We can train our minds to become more loving. As we become more loving and kind so much more does inner and outer beauty grow. What we embody in our own behaviour comes to be reflected outside. But remember: “The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance.” It takes time to change the mind and develop those good habits to replace the harmful ones…

Learn more about St. Augustine in The Confessions

Know latin? You can read The Confessions online with english commentary.

Category: Quotes About Moving On In Life, Spiritual Wisdom Quotes